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Natural vs Chemical Sunscreen

It’s really important, especially here in Australia, to use sunscreen on a daily basis. I use a moisturiser containing sunscreen every day so that I know I have the minimum amount of coverage, then in the summer (or on those freak hot winter days!) I put on extra sunscreen. For babies and children it is even more important to apply sunscreen when they go out into the sun because their skin is so pure and sensitive.

I have used commercial ‘chemical’ sunscreens for most of my life until I realised the amount of toxins that they contain, so I moved to a ‘physical’ (mineral based) sunscreen. This handy chart (credit 100% Pure) shows the difference between physical and chemical sunscreen.

Physical vs Chemical Sunscreen
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As you can see chemical sunscreen is absorbed into the skin whereas the physical sunscreen rests on the skin’s surface and reflects UV rays. Also, chemical sunscreen contains some horrible toxins such as Avobenzone, Octinoxate, Oxybenzone, or Octisalate. Physical sunscreen contains active ingredients, usually Titanium Dioxide or Zinc Oxide, which are naturally occurring minerals.

Whilst I am obviously an advocate for switching to a physical sunscreen, especially for our kiddies, I do appreciate some of the drawbacks to making the switch.

  • Expense is one drawback – because of the shelf life of the physical sunscreen ingredients they only tend to sell them in 100g tubes which are pretty pricey. As a parent I understand picking up the popular brands aimed at kids that you can buy in the supermarket in bulk.
  • That leads me to the next drawback – availability – unless you go to a health food store you can’t buy natural sunscreen in a physical store, thankfully if you’re an online shopper you can find some great brands across the internet.
  • Due to the ingredients, natural sunscreens tend to be thicker and harder to apply, which can be a pest with a wriggly toddler!

I think you’ll agree though that these are very minor drawbacks compared to the benefits that making the switch will give you. The active ingredients in chemical sunscreens can irritate the skin and are full of harmful chemicals to us and the environment (Hawaii have banned the sale of chemical sunscreens due to reef degradation).

Check out our range of natural sunscreens.

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